With a roster comprised of many new faces entering the upcoming season, Illinois State University was selected to finish seventh in the 10-team Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball preseason poll, as announced Thursday.

The Redbirds snagged 193 poll points. Missouri State (410) earned 29 of the 44 total first place points as the preseason favorite, and were followed by Bradley (368), Northern Iowa (343), Loyola-Chicago (340), Drake (243) and Indiana State (210). Evansville (132), Valparaiso (98) and Southern Illinois (83) finished behind the ’Birds in the polls.

Along with the release of the preseason polls, the MVC Preseason All-Conference teams were named. Senior guard Zach Copeland was named to the third team after averaging 9.3 points and 3.0 assists per game in his first season at ISU.

ISU will begin action at 6 p.m. Oct 23 in an exhibition at Redbird Arena against Truman State, before welcoming Belmont to Redbird Arena at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 to start regular season play. The Redbirds will face three teams that made the NCAA Tournament a season ago in its first four games. 

BLAINE LEWALLEN is the Sports Editor for The Vidette. He can be contacted at bmlewal@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @blainelew3 

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